Olympic Games - Eriksson appointed UK Athletics head coach

Peter Eriksson will replace Charles van Commenee as head coach at UK Athletics in January.

Athletics - Britain's head coach resigns after seven months

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Peter Eriksson

Eriksson, 59, achieved great success in his previous role as Paralympic head coach at UKA, which he performed from January 2009.

Britain finished second in the medal table at the 2011 Paralympic World Championships and third at the London Paralympics, rising from 18th in Beijing 2008.

He also worked within the task force set up to assist Van Commenee, alongside newly-appointed performance director Neil Black, in delivering improved medal success between Beijing and London 2012.

"It is a great privilege to be asked to take on this role," Eriksson said. "I will continue with the methods and approach that has proved so successful in the Paralympic arena, and that has been about strong performance management of our best medal prospects to maximise the likelihood of medal-winning performances.

"The Olympic team performed very well in London, finishing fourth in the world with four [athletics] golds so I have a great platform on which to build.

"But I believe that we can still do better in Rio 2016, and of course when the IAAF World Athletics Championships take place in the London Olympic Stadium in 2017.

"The next five years look like an exhilarating time for British athletics."

Van Commenee decided to step aside at the end of the year, when his contract expires, as Britain's athletes fell short of his target of eight overall medals despite excelling with the four golds.

Black said that Eriksson, who was born in Sweden and has also worked in Canada, is an inspiration to the nation's athletes.

"Peter has proved time and again that he has the priceless ability to lead and inspire athletes to deliver when it matters most – at the biggest championships, on the global stage," he said.

"He is a rare talent, fantastically well positioned to now assume leadership of the Olympic team, and to build on the impressive progress the sport has made between Beijing and London."

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